This week I read And of Clay Are We Created by Isabel Allende, Death Constant Beyond Love by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Walking Around by Pablo Neruda, The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorges Luis Borges, I speak of the City and Central Park by Octavio Paz. Starting out, I must say that these stories really stuck out to me by being the best I have read so far for my English Literature class. I felt they had so much to offer as they were reality based and choice ridden. However, the theme of death and how Death is in control hangs over the decisions these characters make, no matter which road they choose. This was the recurring theme, how choice bends reality around us.
There are so many pop culture references today that reminds us what effects choice has on our daily lives. In all movies, no matter the genre, we are presented with characters who make choices to excel, suffer, live and sometimes even die. 127 Hours, based on a true-story about one man’s will to survive, is a great example of how the smallest of choices can affect even the next few minutes in one’s life. Also in pop-culture today, the news is where we can go to see the illusions we see in Death Constant Beyond Love by politicians. As humans, we love to think about reality and decision making, so it is not difficult to get people engaged in this thought process.
In any teaching position, a great discussion point could be to engage the students in talking about different movies seen or books they have read that have emphasis on choice. Bringing up other works such as William Shakespeare, where most all his plays and writings had much emphasis dealing with character choice directing the entire plot. Even the beloved Harry Potter series has a great deal of emphasis in choice affecting reality and what could be is another great example to get students involved. I think the theme of reality and choice are great themes that students are more than happy to be learning about.